Best 2023 Albums (So Far): Lana Del Rey, Boygenius, Karol G, Ice Spice


From Ice Spice making a splash at the beginning of her career to Paul Simon pushing the envelope at the other end of his, the year in music has already brought riches galore, even before we get into what is likely to be a superstar-strewn back half. The reteaming of part-time supergroup Boygenius brought strength in numbers; Karol G, Kali Uchis and Tainy pushed the Latin revolution ever forward; Lana Del Rey mesmerized fans even more than before with true confessions; Kelela and Raye raised the flag for invigorating R&B; Jason Isbell and Brandy Clark held down the classic storytelling fort; and Sam Smith and Christine & the Queens didn’t just represent for nonbinary artists but for great nonconformers generally.

Among the dozens, even hundreds, of albums we’ve fallen for this year, here are some unranked picks as selected by executive music editor Jem Aswad, senior writer and chief music critic Chris Willman and associate music editor Thania Garcia — all attesting that, in the realm of music, it’s anything but a cruel summer.

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